Lady Lions Suffer Heartbreaking 62-57 Loss To Rutgers
Penn State women’s basketball (7-10, 1-5 Big Ten) fell to Rutgers (15-2, 5-1 Big Ten) 62-57 Thursday evening at the Bryce Jordan Center. The Nittany Lions played an impressive game on both ends of the court, but ultimately weren’t able to pull off the upset against a talented Rutgers team.
Despite multiple big leads for Rutgers, Penn State crawled back into the game several times. Anna Camden’s clutch three-point shooting almost gave the Nittany Lions the edge, but they ended up trailing for the final 34 minutes of the game.
How It Happened
The Nittany Lions were the first to strike offensively after Lauren Ebo knocked down a layup in the paint. Penn State jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead following a solid defensive effort on the following possessions.
Rutgers was able build a lead of its own throughout the rest of the first quarter, extending the score to 14-11 heading into the intermission. Makenna Marisa and Shay Hagans also got into foul trouble early in the game, with a pair of personal fouls each in the first quarter. The Scarlet Knights were able to convert on all five of their free throw attempts.
Penn State almost lost control of the game early in the second quarter, allowing Rutgers to lead 24-13 by the five minute mark. Penn State was able to contain their deficit, mainly thanks to Kamaria McDaniel’s nine points and four rebounds. The Nittany Lions were able to shrink Rutgers’ lead to just 29-23 at the half. Anna Camden’s buzzer-beater three also gave Penn State some momentum heading into the locker room.
Both teams struggled with shooting from the field in the first half, with the Nittany Lions shooting 32%, and the Scarlet Knights knocking down just 31% of their shots. Penn State especially struggled from three-point range, only getting three shots to fall on 13 attempts.
The Nittany Lions kept pace with Rutgers early in the third quarter, and trailed only 35-33 near the five minute mark. Alisia Smith continued a solid defensive outing, boasting a game high three steals along with two defensive rebounds at the end of the third. The Nittany Lions lost their footing throughout the end of the third quarter, trailing 47-38 at the buzzer. The Lady Lions’ turnover woes started to catch up to them at this point in the game, as they gave the ball away 16 times in the first three quarters.
The Nittany Lions kept battling in the beginning of the fourth quarter, staying within four points of the Scarlet Knights at the final media timeout. A Siyeh Frazier free throw right out of the media timeout quickly made it a 51-48 game just under the five minute mark.
The Nittany Lions trailed by only one point with one minute to go in regulation, but a crafty Rutgers jumper extended the lead to 57-54. Penn State was able to go tit-for-tat with the Scarlet Knights in the following possessions, but ultimately fell short at the buzzer.
- Siyeh Frazier, who is typically one of the team’s best shooters, struggled from the field throughout the game. Thanks to seven points from the free throw line, she was able to put up 14, but only shot 25% from the field. Perhaps a better performance from Frazier could have given the Nittany Lions the edge over the Scarlet Knights.
- Turnovers continued to be an issue for Penn State, recording 19 to Rutgers’ 14. They were able to nurse this issue in the second half, only giving the ball over seven times in the final two quarters. Smith and Frazier led the team with 5 turnovers a piece.
- All in all, this was a refreshing and solid performance from the Nittany Lions. Rutgers’ only two losses this season come from LSU and a No. 15 Indiana team, and the Scarlet Knights struggled at times against the Nittany Lions. Penn State came up with answer after answer for Rutgers’ scoring runs, keeping the game competitive throughout.
The Lady Lions will travel to Evanston to take on the Northwestern Wildcats on Sunday, January 19. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m.
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After a fundraising year that included no canning and banned events outside of State College, THON 2020 culminated with the announcement that $11,696,942.38 had been raised For The Kids.
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